What is your name and title?

Joe Cheng, Enterprise Architect

How is Enterprise Architecture defined at your institution, and what is the mission of the EA practice?

By mapping how human and technical systems use information in relation to the College’s mission, and how that use will change as those systems evolve, the Enterprise Architecture office offers insight into how best to design and plan the College’s IT resource investments.

By making the right technology and investment choices through intentional design practices, we ensure our solutions are optimally aligned to stakeholder need and are intelligently architected, maintainable, sustainable, equitable and inclusive.

Review by Maturity Attribute

In the following sections, for each maturity attribute, please briefly describe your current state and planned changes. The links in the right column further describe each level and attribute.

Once you've reviewed each attribute, in the table below, indicate how you currently see the maturity level of your EA practice. (Please place an X on each row.)

  1. Initiating
2. Formed3. Defined4. Managed5. Improving
A. Scope Definition

B. EngagementX

C. Impact AssessmentX

D. DeliveryX

E. ManagementX

Scope Definition

Our current level is about X and we are aiming for Y.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Formed (2) and Defined (3) in regard to position and leadership role in the organization: As a senior leader in IT focused on strategic alignment with the organizational mission, I regularly represent IT to external entities, and internally on strategic initiatives, committees and planning activities, alongside other senior leaders throughout the organization.

Things we want to work on:

  • Aiming for Defined (3) Activity: Standardize roles and deliverables for EA practice in projects.

  • Aiming for Defined (3) Activity: Enable each domain in scope to actively leverage EA resources.

  • Aiming for Defined (3) Activity: Establish wide understanding and agreement on the scope of the EA practice by  stakeholders, partners, and sponsors.


Our current level is about X and we are aiming for Y.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Initiating (1) Activity: By encouraging, participating in and supporting existing and emerging systemic change processes, I have been building informal relationships with and among stakeholders who are key to the development of the practice of Enterprise Architecture, a practice that is necessarily a highly collaborative and distributed activity in our environment.

  • Forming (1.5) Activity: Through broad participation in various strategic initiatives, many leaders have become aware of the EA practice and its scope, but it remains a work in progress to communicate the EA practice's mission and to develop its specific value propositions for different leadership elements.

  • Forming (1.5) Activity: By participating in conversations and strategic initiatives that touch upon systemic change governance processes and issues, the EA Practice has begun to participate in governance activities appropriate to its scope.

Things we want to work on:

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Make leaders aware of the EA practice and its scope.

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Enable the EA practice to participate in existing governance processes as appropriate to its scope.

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Make practitioners aware of the EA practice and informally engage them in it.

Impact Assessment

Our current level is about X and we are aiming for Y.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Initiating (1) Activity: Applying TOGAF framework-tailoring methodology in conjunction with elements integrated from COBIT, IT4IT, Performance Practice, Critical Race Theory, SAFe, SCUP Integrated Planning, the Joanna Briggs Institute Model, Irene Reti and Donna Haraway's "Edges and Ecotones: Donna Haraway's Worlds at UCSC" and Stefan Kühl's systems theory research on organizations, I have been working with stakeholders to assess the organizational context for systemic change governance, engaging key stakeholders in understanding what outcomes that require systemic change are valued by the institution, and developing approaches to how the EA practice can best help to bring those desired changes and outcomes into being.
  • Forming (1.5) Activity: I have been following and supporting initiatives led by other leaders in the institution and informally assessing general feedback from collaborators in those efforts on the specific EA perspectives and approaches I have contributed.
  • Forming (1.5) Activity: I have been engaging in informal natural assessment of the value of my EA practice to guide my work focus, with an eye towards evolving towards more rigorous qualitative assessment methods and more transparently defined continual improvement processes.
  • Forming (1.5) Activity: The EA practice has articulated its target outcomes in the course of managing its project activities under the umbrella and guidance of the IT Portfolio Management Office's emerging standards, processes and practices.

Things we want to work on:

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Focus on key high-value engagements to assess value based on stakeholder feedback.

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Measure the ability of the EA practice to deliver value through key engagements using qualitative assessment methods.

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: Prioritize and share the outcomes the EA practice seeks to achieve in its selected scope; these can include IT, business, or strategy outcomes.


Our current level is about X and we are aiming for Y.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Initiating (1) Activity: EA resources have been assigned ad hoc to add enterprise architectural perspective and value to various planning, proposal development and system design activities, including:
    • development of an IT Governance strategy  for Institutional Accreditation review
    • representing IT in the development of Key Indicators of Achievement for Institutional Accreditation review
    • representing IT in Strategic Enrollment Management and Strategic Course Scheduling initiatives
    • Dental Clinic Information Security Architecture roadmap development
    • mapping of processes, services and controls for GLBA Audit Preparation
    • roadmap development for Classroom Technology Redesign
    • Identity and Access Management segment roadmap development
    • Secure Business Improvement Platform strategic resource development
    • Cloud Data Loss Prevention architecture development and implementation
    • Email Security Architecture roadmap development.

Things we want to work on:

  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: As a pilot implementation of the Secure Business Improvement Platform project, commit the EA practice to one or more means of delivery that are well-defined and well-understood.
  • Aiming for Formed (2) Activity: As a pilot implementation of the Secure Business Improvement Platform project, make the intended customers of the EA practice aware of the resources available.


Our current level is about X and we are aiming for Y.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Initiating (1) Activity: I have used the EA maturity model from its earliest draft versions to discuss where the EA practice will start and how it will mature over time.

  • Initiating (1) Activity: I have been identifying the existing and potential EA contributors in the organization, with an eye to determining the highest priority needs for recruiting or developing new EA resources and capabilities.

  • Initiating (1) Activity: Based partly on an online webinar I took on Innovation Architecture, I have been building an innovation business case at various levels of the organization in support of potential funding for an initial commitment to the Secure Business Improvement Platform as a foundational tool for the distributed scaled agile practice of EA throughout the organization, and for an increasingly synchronized cross-silo continual improvement lifecycle for that practice.

Things we want to work on:

  • Aiming for Defined (2) Activity: Encourage capability and accountability for maturing the EA practice among existing and emerging systemic change leadership throughout the organization.

  • Aiming for Defined (2) Activity: Identify the resources available to the EA practice, whether they report directly to an EA program or are distributed.

  • Aiming for Defined (2) Activity: Regularly bring together the EA resources to plan future work. Appropriate tools are in place for managing work and sharing deliverables within a Secure Business Improvement Platform.


Overall, what are the major challenges and/or opportunities for EA at your institution?

Challenges: Bootstrapping existing systemic change dynamics to introduce innovative strides of improvement in systemic change governance.

Opportunities: Enormous depth, breadth and variety of existing subject-matter expertise and practical can-do experience, as well as widely shared and heartfelt commitment to the mission of the organization, at all hierarchical levels of the organization and across all functional partitions.